Church growth strategies come and go with new trends all the time. Today’s church culture shows that most churches have plateaued and are actually in decline. Today’s churchgoer doesn’t just want to be a casual attender, but be involved in genuine relationships with others who do life together. Therefore, as a church leader, it is vital that you have a dynamic small group ministry to meet the needs of your congregation. Here are a few thoughts to consider adopting to help strengthen your church’s ability to grow spiritually and reach more people in your community:
1) Recruit good leaders who have a heart for teaching the Bible. They don’t have to be expert Bible teachers, but hopefully can facilitate a group well. Nothing can kill a group faster than poor leadership.
2) Pick the right curriculum. This is often a difficult task. There are certainly many options out there. One popular model is to take the sermon series the pastor is teaching and break it down further for discussion and study. This is less costly than buying curriculum every semester.
3) Choose the right space. Location, location, location. This is an easy answer for churches without space. Using a church member’s home is the right answer in this situation for a number of reasons. However, for those with educational space available, you must consider what is best for your people.
4) Communication. Good communication is very important to the small group ministry. This keeps the group connected and informed of all the happenings in the life of the group. It is also important between church leadership and group leaders to make sure everyone is on the same page.
5) Pastoral leadership and accountability. No matter the size of the church or how many small groups you have, it is important to have a strong leader overseeing the ministry. For many churches, this will be one of the pastors on staff. This pastor should provide overall direction for the small group ministry and be a help to the lay leaders.
Put one or more of these practices in place and you will hopefully see your small group ministry flourish and strengthen the overall ministry of your church. Small groups are not one of those trends that are going away anytime soon. Embrace this strategy with confidence which will lead to deepened discipleship and good outreach in your community.
For more tips, best practices, and resources for growing your groups, check out our guide, “Grow with Good Group Communication.”